Regional integration in Africa - Agreements with WAEMU and CEMAC

FERDI works in partnership with the CEMAC and WAEMU Commissions on regional integration issues. These research partnerships cover all aspects of integration, from multilateral surveillance to infrastructure, taxation, and trade policies.

From the monetary and financial fields, regional integration in West Africa has extended to the trade sector, fiscal and macroeconomic policy coordination, and a range of sectoral policies. Regional integration can be further strengthened in all of these dimensions, whether by improving the security of financial transactions and the management of risks of financial instability, strengthening trade surveillance, improving the production of reliable macroeconomic information, and tariff policy developments, or the establishment of regional instruments to consolidate the common market and strengthen regional sectoral policies.
Regional integration in West Africa is an important vehicle for promoting growth and development for the states of the region. 

In November 2011, at the request of the Ministers of Finance of the Franc Zone, the French Treasury Directorate General, in collaboration with the French Development Agency (AFD), launched a study on "Evaluating the expected gains from regional integration in African Franc Zone countries". FERDI, for whom this area is a priority, mobilized a large team of experts in fields as varied as trade integration, tax harmonization, and the institutional framework for integration, monetary and financial integration. 

The foundation has since collaborated with WAEMU, CEMAC, the Banque de France, and the African Development Bank to produce research to support the strengthening of regional integration through Community policies.

Results and Impact

FERDI actively participates in both theoretical and technical discussions designed to guide the action of the Community institutions.

  • In 2017, the CEMAC Commission asked FERDI to support its project to define a coordinated policy to sustainably boost growth in CEMAC. FERDI actively collaborated in the implementation of the PREF-CEMAC, adopted at the community level.
  • Since 2015, FERDI has been developing, with the WAEMU, a new index to measure the commitment of its member states to the regional integration process. This tool makes it possible to analyze the regional integration process from a new angle: it represents the first effort to separate the measures taken (those reflected in the texts) from the results of regional integration (in terms of trade volume and diversity of exports).
  • The proposals of FERDI's report "Fiscal sustainability and strengthening of multilateral surveillance arrangements in CEMAC" (2016) were adopted at the 30th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the Central African Economic Union on 16 January 2016.
  • In December 2016, WAEMU and FERDI organized an international symposium entitled "The Challenges of Strengthening Regional Integration in West Africa". This event brought together many researchers and practitioners and provided an opportunity for exchanges on the future of regional integration in the Franc Zone.
  • Publication in 2013 of the book "Regional integration in the Franc Zone".

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